Poker Bluffs : Spot Tells in Poker

Poker BluffsSwift Mike wrote in to say, “I want to learn to play poker like Doyle Brunson. I mainly play tavern poker and I want to learn Texas Hold em Tells, Poker Bluffs and basic Tells in Poker. Also what poker books are best?”

Well Swift Mike the easiest way to win in poker, from my experience, is to find inexperienced players and get them drunk. In this article I’ll teach you the basics of spotting Poker Bluffs. You should probably check out my Gestures and Body Language Tutorial as well. Here I will completely focus on the body language behind Tells and Bluffing.

Psychology Behind Poker Bluffs

After you master the fundamentals of poker, all there is to learn is the psychology behind Poker Bluffs. You need to master these techniques to get players to stay in the game when you have the best hand. Spotting Poker Tells, will also keep the other guy from stealing your bank roll through aggressive bluffing.

Bluffing is when the other guy wants to make you think they have a bad or good hand. A Tell is a mannerism that informs you on whether their hand is good or not. Spotting bluffing is pretty easy to do, but spotting a tell will take some time at the table.

Common Poker Bluffs

1St Tip / Do the Opposite: Do the opposite of what your competitor is trying to get you to do. Most amateur players act timid when they have a good hand and the opposite when they have a bad hand.

2nd Tip / Weak Hand: If someone acts like they have a weak hand, they almost definitely have a strong one. This is the number one way amateurs bluff. Think about it, why would they ever want you to think they have a bad hand?

3rd Tip / Exaggerated Motions: If an opponent exaggerates their motions when putting chips in the pot, or with exaggerated hand motions, they are trying to make their hand look better. Everyone does this differently, so wait for their bluff to go wrong on them.

4th Tip / Lack of Interest: There are to form’s of lack of interest. If a player all of a sudden starts staring down just one player, for no reason chances are they are bluffing. If they however start staring off as if they aren’t interested in the game, you should probably fold.

5th Tip / Hands on Chips: If a player reaches for or toward their chips before it’s there turn, chances are good they are trying to fake you out. This is something good bluffers do now and again. Think, why do they want you to think they have a good hand.

Poker Tells to Watch for from Good Players

The most important thing to watch for, is a players reaction after they see their cards. When you are dealt, always wait to look at your cards. Also make sure you:

  • Trust the first reaction
  • Distrust the second reaction, that occurs as they look at everyone else
  • If they look at their chips after the cards, they probably got a good hand
  • If they look at their cards, then chips and then off in to space, you should probably fold
  • The longer they look at their cards, the worse the hand
  • The more they look at their chips, the better the hand

Body Language Poker Tells

Poker Tell Signs of the Hands

  • Sudden hand shaking, is a sign of a good hand. Don’t call!
  • If jittery hands stop as you reach for your chips, chances are good that the player is bluffing
  • If a player shows someone their hand it is most likely a good one
  • Any touches toward the face are normally signs of bluffing
  • If the player starts protecting the cards unnaturally, they probably have a good hand

Poker Tell Signs of the Eyes

  • If a person looks at you briefly and then looks away they are probably bluffing
  • Looking at the cards multiple times, is normally a sign of bluffing
  • Looking at the cards after a flop, in Texas Hold em, means they don’t have a pair, but may be close to a straight or flush
  • Looking bored is a sign of a good hand

Poker Tell Signs of the Legs

  • If a person bounces their legs and they are normally still, they are probably bluffing and vice versa
  • If a person flattens their feet they are sure of themselves
  • If they cross their feet under themselves they are probably bluffing

Random Poker Tells

  • Players with a good hand are more apt to talk and laugh
  • Bluffers normally don’t move
  • Any major change in posture, breathing (watch the shoulders), etc. is a sign that the player is planning to change their playing style.
  • Any change in check or raise speed is a sign the player is changing their style

Best Poker Books

Here is a list of the best poker books:

That’s All Folk’s

I hope you enjoyed this article. I still think it’s easy to play against people that are drunk, but this will help too. I have another Gesture and Body Language Tutorial that also can be applied to Poker analysis. If you have a question you want me to review, leave it in the comment section below.

Here to Serve

P.S. “And no, I’m not a cop”

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